Media franchises are bound to shift and change over time. Sometimes, this sneaks in more gradually though a series of slow deviations. And out of this, you get things like Fate/Grand Order.
Throughout the series, the greatest things that the Kansei running team have to overcome are always themselves and each other.
Anime adaptations of light novels and especially manga have a nasty inherent problem to them. Most are made with the intention of promoting sales of their source material – usually a still-ongoing series – which will inevitably have a slower release cycle than the week-to-week release of a TV show. Naturally, this is a tricky business.
You don’t need to be overly-familiar with anime or manga to know that they tend to fawn over their female characters. For better or for worse, modern stories have an observable habit of leveraging "damaged" characters - typically girls and women - rather than letting them speak for themselves, and even stories that make a run at deconstructing this structure can still hit pitfalls.
Something as quick-hitting and disconnected as sketch comedy is in a perfect position to come across as impenetrable from the outside. Yet Nichijou’s glowing acclaim proves that a firm enough grasp on the fundamentals of comedy can surmount any of these barriers.
I openly adore Pokémon. The series has maintained an overwhelmingly positive image for over twenty years running, and for the occasional flack that it gets for its parallels to cockfighting, the series has always been every bit as much about the childlike wonder of exploration, discovery, and collection. The franchise behaves the same across other media, too – including its annual movie releases.
One of the things I’ve loved about anime for such a long time now is its broad reach and willingness to focus on just about any subject. The Great Passage is an eleven-episode television series entirely about the process of editing a dictionary - and it’s absolutely among the most fascinating show that premiered in its debut season.
Certain anime can have some miserable pacing issues – and I don’t always consider that to be a flat problem. There’s definitely more than one way in which a series’ complete lack of urgency can actually work in its favor. Enter the near-entirety of Shoujo series.
Assuming that you have even the most passing degree of pop culture literacy, you absolutely shouldn't need me to tell you that Dragon Ball has a penchant to move astonishingly slowly. It's practically the series' defining feature. And ya know what? I don't really mind.
From a strictly presentation-focused standpoint, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl every bit as impressive of a film as its name is long. But the thing is, as much as NiSWOG blew me away with its animation, I’m still not quite sure how much I like it as a film on the whole.
Madoka Magica’s place in the current anime production landscape is a bit tricky to pin down, to be sure. But despite some contradictions in the series’ image, Madoka Magica itself is an outstandingly solid show, owing largely to keeping a strong hold on its core ideals.
Nostalgia is such a weird idea. Parts of it are clearly tied to good memories of your own past, sure - it's the whole reason why people have comfort foods and hold onto familiar objects from their childhood like stuffed animals. Then there's a huge aspect of it that's not even tied to anything specific - even something similar to what we know can draw out that craved feeling of comfort. And, if you hit a sweet spot, you can get the same impression off something that's by all means outside of your own experience.
"Body swap" stories have made the rounds dozens times. Its ilk of well-worn and seemingly-predictable contrivances are what can make subversions so very very fun.
Monogatari is fairly hard to recommend out-of-hand. It’s also not-so-secretly a personal favorite of mine. It has a broad and well-balanced cast, every single episode is a visual treat, and in retrospect the anime is possibly the most one-to-one adaptation of a source material I’ve ever seen that still manages to take advantage of its new medium. How those three things in particular reinforce one another is what makes Monogatari grab you and never let go.
There is, to understate it, a mile-long list of various problems with the way that anime and manga tend to portray relationships.